Founder and CEO
In 2012, Derri Smith moved End Slavery Tennessee, an organization she founded in 2008, out from under a parent organization to become an independent 501c3.
Previously she served as Director of End Slavery Ministries with International Teams, with global responsibility for building teams and placing workers in the worldwide fight against slavery. But her heart and passion remained for the travesty of this crime, in epidemic proportions yet hidden in plain sight, right here in her own community.
Her career leading up to these roles includes teaching in public schools, heading an inner-city work based out of Carter-Lawrence School in Nashville, and working overseas, serving refugees and those recovering from decades of repressive government in Eastern Europe. For decades she's addressed the issue of child abuse in the church, informally counseling women recovering from such abuse.
Derri is the 2011 regional recipient of the Soroptimist Ruby Award for Women Helping Women and 2012 winner of the Trafficking in America Service award. She accepted the 2014 Salute to Excellence Healing Trust Access to Care award, the 2015 Diverse Generations award and the 2016 Frist Team Building award for the work of End Slavery Tennessee. In 2016, she was also awarded the Human Rights Outstanding Service Award from the Tennessee Human Rights Commission. She sits on both the governor appointed Tennessee Human Trafficking Advisory Council and the Federal Human Trafficking Task Force. Her many speaking venues include the US Capitol and TEDx Nashville.
She now devotes her knowledge, experience and passion to promote healing of human trafficking survivors and strategically confront slavery in our state.
In her free time, Derri loves to spend time with Bill, her husband of 44 years, their Golden Retriever mix, Diggity Dog and a good book. Derri and Bill have two adult daughters.
Chief Operating Officer
Chris has a passion to live out Proverbs 31:8-9, "to be a voice for voiceless and for the rights of all who are vulnerable, to make just decisions and protect the rights of the oppressed and needy." Among the most vulnerable today are those who are enslaved through human trafficking.
He has applied his background in business operations and in law enforcement, serving for 14 years on the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, to the issue of human trafficking both domestically and internationally. Chris has worked undercover to combat sex trafficking in Cambodia and the Philippines. And he has worked with victims of labor and sex trafficking in the Middle East and with victims of police violence in Africa. Chris volunteers with IJM as an Investigative Associate, and prior to coming to ESTN worked as the Vice President of Justice and Restoration with Saving Innocence in Los Angeles CA. He has a B.A. in Philosophy and a Masters in Business Administration.
Chris and his wife of 28 years (and counting) moved to Tennessee in 2017 to join the ESTN family. They have 6 children and a son-in-law, all of whom relocated to Tennessee and are excited to begin a new chapter in their lives.
Cassie received her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Community Development from Trevecca Nazarene University and received her Master's degree of Business Administration from Middle Tennessee State University.
Through her time spent as a mentor in college and leading a high school girls small group at her church, Cassie found her passion to help others and saw the importance of investing in peoples’ lives and building community. She previously worked at Rest Stop Ministries where she learned about the issue of human trafficking and where her passions to help those affected by this horrific issue were sparked. Cassie has a desire to see positive change happening in her community and is excited to have the opportunity to be a part of this change first hand.
In her spare time, Cassie enjoys spenging time with her friends and family, eating at all the new restaurants in town, traveling, and reading.
Director of Development
Experiencing poverty at a young age gave Lorraine a strong sense of justice issues early in life and drove her to work hard as a waitress to earn a degree in psychology from BIOLA university.
Though she was recruited into corporate sales right out of college, Lorraine knew she wanted to do more to make a difference in our hurting world. In 2008, she became the Missions Pastor at Springcreek Church in Garland, Texas. There, she built the missions department and directed all the local and global outreach, leading people in her church to live to their fullest potential in serving the vulnerable with time and resources. Her position allowed her to learn more about so many issues of injustice, including domestic sex trafficking.
When she moved back to California in 2012, she decided to take her sales, ministry and nonprofit experience and pursue a job with World Vision, working as a Church Advisor. She was promoted to Director of Strategic Church Partnerships, where she worked with church in the Southwestern US to come up with strategic fundraising plans to fund their international development.
This summer Lorraine and her dog Romo left her tiny beach cottage to marry a Tennessean. She, her amazing husband Jeffrey, 4 step kids and their 2 dogs live in Mt. Juliet. She loves (and misses) the beach, running, meditating, motorcycle rides with her husband, and ridiculous animal videos.
Jill Rutter, RN, MSN, PCPNP-CB, CCE
Director of Community Outreach
Jill received her undergraduate degree in nursing at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee and her graduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked in pediatric oncology as well as maternal nursing, general and acute pediatric care, perinatal education, nursing education, and perinatal grief counseling. She has also worked in staff development, as adjunct faculty at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Bethel University, and as clinical coordinator for the pediatrics program at Belmont University.
She became involved with End Slavery Tennessee after watching a documentary about human trafficking. She found out about the horrific treatment of children overseas, but after some research, found out the horror was just as great here in the states, with a particular focus in Nashville. With an overwhelming passion for children, she felt the need to be a part of an organization whose entire purpose was making a difference for the victims of human trafficking in middle Tennessee.
Jill's goal is to educate as many people as possible about the problem of human trafficking and how they, too, can become involved. She hopes through knowledge, more and more people will become advocates against trafficking and supporters for ESTN.
Jill and her husband Richard have 7 children (4 - two-legged, and 3- four-legged), as well as 3 grandchildren. In their spare time, they work as professional photographers. They also love to cook, travel, play with their “grandangels.”
Amber Hampton, LMSW
Director of Survivor Care
Amber graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor's degree in Global Studies from the Honors College at MTSU. During her time in college, she spent her summers in El Salvador working with children in high-risk areas for gang violence. While planning to move to El Salvador full-time, she began building friendships with those experiencing homelessness in her community. It was here that she began to meet and work with survivors of trafficking. She noticed the work to be done in her own community, and began working directly on the ground level with those who had experienced trauma.
She worked as the Missions and Community Service Coordinator for a non-denominational church in Murfreesboro, where she built partnerships with local nonprofits, built volunteer teams, developed training materials, and led trips to Central and South America. Upon finishing her Master's degree, she transitioned into crisis counseling for youth and worked as a medical social worker for Vanderbilt University.
She graduated in 2015 from the University of Tennessee College of Social Work with her Master's degree in Evidence Based Interpersonal Practice and a graduate certificate in the Treatment of Trauma. She is certified in EMDR and TF-CBT. She currently co-leads Murfreesboro Cold Patrol, a community organization dedicated to working directly to find solutions and build relationships with those experiencing homelessness.
In her spare time she enjoys running, traveling to visit her friends across the globe, and hanging out in the woods and under bridges with her street family.
Care Coordinator: CSEC Specialist (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children)
Kelsey’s heart and desire to help those who are hurting led her to pursue a degree in Christian Ministry and Counseling from Johnson University, Florida. It is here that Kelsey learned more about the realities of human trafficking and was able to help raise awareness and fundraise for the cause. Upon moving to Nashville, Kelsey began working as a Case Manager for children and youth at a mental health organization. In this position, Kelsey gained valuable experience advocating for the children’s needs and learned the importance of building and strengthening social supports among the families and communities. Kelsey is excited to join End Slavery as a Care Coordinator because the position perfectly combines her experience as a case manager with her passion and desire to work with survivors of human trafficking.
In Kelsey’s free time she enjoys cuddling with her puppy, spending time outdoors and diving into a good book.
Kayla received her Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology at the University of Tennessee at Martin. While doing her internship with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, she learned more about human trafficking going on in our very own state. After graduation, she spent two years working with underprivileged children at a Nashville non-profit. Here, her passion to help and empower others flourished. Kayla is grateful for the opportunity to be able to serve the women at End Slavery Tennessee and walk with them through healing and recovery.
Kayla loves to spend her free time hiking with her husband, Ryan, and two fur babies, Kimber and Aspen. She also loves volunteering with the children's ministry at her church, reading, and kayaking throughout Tennessee.
Marybeth Jensen, msw
Marybeth’s desire from a young age, to love those who felt unloved and help those in need, steered her towards a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Social Work from Middle Tennessee State University. She has experience working in a group home for juvenile delinquents, at Rutherford County with sexually abused children and their families, and in a Venezuelan orphanage, teaching English and being a house mother. All the difference places and people she encountered, strengthened her desire to pour into people. Working at End Slavery TN is a dream come true; the opportunity to build positive relationships every day and work one-on-one with people is a true blessing.
In her free time, Marybeth enjoys kayaking, traveling, and spending time with her family. She also loves fishing with her grandpa, reading books, and watching reruns of The Office.
Chelsea Nixon, MSW
Chelsea received her undergraduate degree in social work from Eastern Michigan University, where she became passionate about advocating for women in under-served populations and gained knowledge on the issue of human trafficking. Here she worked at a community center training volunteers and working with individuals in crisis, growing her abilities in direct service and community outreach.
She obtained her graduate degree in social work with a specialization in nonprofit management from Loyola University Chicago. While helping to strengthen the network of childhood crisis response teams in Illinois, she began working with a team of childhood trauma specialists and studying the work of trauma researcher Bruce Perry. Seeing the effects of complex trauma and the incredible work being done in this field, Chelsea’s desire to become a trauma-informed care specialist was born.
Having now made a home in Nashville, Chelsea is excited to be part of the team at End Slavery Tennessee where she can combine her two passions to help empower others and cultivate a community focused on self-love and healing.
In her spare time, Chelsea enjoys acting as a doula for new and expecting moms, exploring Nashville, and sipping a good cup of coffee.
Tia has always had a passion for helping others and being an advocate for change. She grew up on the coast of WA where she graduated in 2013 from Grays Harbor College.
Rainy weather, poverty, drug/alcohol abuse, and suicide were what her small town was unfortunately known for. Her father is a detective and she quickly learned at a young age what families and different individuals had to go through in life that just didn’t seem fair. All of this led her to become an activist at just 15 years old, standing up for the vulnerable and building community and support for those around her.
Tia learned about the continuing problem of sex trafficking while her sister was with a team in Thailand spending time in the red district. She is excited to be a part of the team here at End Slavery Tennessee and feels grateful to be a part of an organization that does so much to make others aware of the continuing problem while making a difference in the lives of others.
In her spare time, Tia enjoys spending time with her husband, working out, walking on trails, yoga, zumba, as well as volunteering as a mentor for young women who struggle with depression and self image.
Resident Care coordinator
After growing up in a divorced home, often times struggling to have the basic necessities, Lisa decided at a young age she needed a plan to not repeat this cycle. Upon completing graduation, Lisa joined the military and began a nine year career with the United States Army. After leaving the military, she worked in the medical field for fifteen years with various specialties where she learned about compassion and caring for others.
Lisa wanted to find a way to serve her community so she began volunteering with local outreach organizations. She served with The Journey Home providing meals for the homeless. There she learned she didn’t want to just serve a meal to someone, she wanted to get to know them. During this same time, she came across a documentary on PBS called “A Path Appears,” which addressed human trafficking in Nashville. She immediately became interested in this cause and sought out a local ministry that dealt with human trafficking. She volunteered with Last Call 4 Grace and was certified in Darkness to Light (CSEC) training. All of her volunteering experience, combined with her military and healthcare experience, has helped prepare her for her position with ESTN.
In her spare time, Lisa enjoys visiting her daughter in Memphis, working out, and being outdoors. She is also truly blessed to be surrounded by such a strong, loving community of friends that support her in every way.
Kiersten Twitchell, LCSW
Kiersten holds a Master’s in Social Work from New York University, and has received post graduate training in relational and focusing oriented psychotherapies. After graduate school, Kiersten spent nearly 10 years in New York City providing therapy and advocacy services to survivors of various forms of trauma, including sexual assault, domestic/relationship abuse, community violence and human trafficking. Kiersten has worked in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, and an outpatient mental health clinic. Evidence based models include TF-CBT, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR levels 1 and 2), Cognitive Processing Therapy, and is trained in the ARC (Attachment, Regulation and Competency) framework which she implements based on client need. In addition to talk therapy, Kiersten provides the opportunity for clients to express themselves using art, play and movement, and has also taught interested clients how to knit as a form of coping and mindfulness. Kiersten sees children, adolescents and adults in her practice.